Earlier today, Japanese newspaper The Daily Sports reported that a new Rurouni Kenshin is in the works.
The news was revealed in a gossip article that focused on actress Emi Takei, who played Kaoru in the 2012 Kenshin movie trilogy. The article reports that Taken is facing potential breach-of-contract penalties due to her announcement on Friday.
On Friday, Takei revealed that she was three months pregnant, and that she recently married Exile band member Takahiro.
The Daily Sports noted that Takei’s contract with SSP Alesion 10 is in jeopardy due to the events. She also faces a potential monetary penalty of up to 1 billion yen ($9,106,265.57 USD). Takei reportedly had agreements to star in commericals for up to ten companies. Notable brands included JTB and Yōfuku no Aoyama.
Amid the news, though, was a reveal that a Rurouni Kenshin film is in the works. Due to Takei starring as Kaoru, she’s unable to be written out of the production.
A trilogy of live-action Rurouni Kenshin movies were produced from 2012 to 2014. The three films adapt Nobuhiro Watsuki’s manga of the same name. Keishi Ōtomo directed all three features, which were produced by Warner Brothers. Osamu Kubota was tapped as producer on the project, while the team of Kiyomi Fujii and Keishi Otomo wrote the scripts. Kenjin Tanigaki (Blade II, Ip Man) served as action director on all three movies.
Takeru Satoh played the lead role as Kenshin in the films. He performed opposite Emi Takei, who played Kaoru Kamiya.
Rurouni Kenshin: Origins opened in Japanese theaters on August 25, 2012. The feature, which had a budget of $20 million, grossed $61.7 million box office revenues. Sequel film Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno opened in August 2014. The film, which shared a $30 million budget with Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends, took in $52.9 million in global box office revenues. Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends debuted a month later, on September 13, 2014. The feature took in $42.7 million in global ticket sales.
All three films received theatrical runs in the United Kingdom, with Warner Brothers handling distribution in the region.
Funimation currently holds the rights to all three Rurouni Kenshin movies. They describe them as:
In the wake of a brutal civil war, Kenshin Himura, once a feared killer, turns his back on bloodshed and vows to carry a reversed-edge blade for the rest of his days. But Kenshin soon finds that the world around him is greatly changed. Rapid modernization has given rise to new villains driven by power and greed—and from the shadows of the past, the famed assassin Makoto Shishio has returned to wreak havoc across Japan. Together, with the beautiful kendo instructor Kaoru and a colorful cast of allies, Kenshin embarks on a quest to protect the innocent from those that would do them harm. In a staggering display of swordplay and martial arts mastery, Kenshin will attempt to survive his promise to face his own blade—before spilling the blood of his enemies!
Editor’s Note: In Japanese show business, it’s not uncommon for female talent to have contracts that include strict restrictions on marriage, divorce, and pregnancy. I’m not going to begin ranting about how screwed up this practice is, because we’ll be here all frickin’ night.